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How retailers can find opportunities in value-based shopping

More and more customers make purchasing decisions based on their personal values. According to IBM Research Insights, the number of purpose-driven consumers has caught up the segment of value-driven consumers, consisting of those who shop with their wallets in mind, looking to get the most value for their money.

Purpose-driven consumers seek products and brands that align with their values – especially when it comes to sustainability. The IBM study found out that nearly six in 10 customers would change their consuming habits to reduce environmental impact. Furthermore, nearly eight in 10 say sustainability is important to them.

Consumers want responsibility and societal commitment.

Values have become as important as value.

Identify opportunities

This change in consumerism holds many opportunities for businesses. According to Kantar, value-driven brands grew more than twice as much compared to their competitors in 2019.

Additionally, in the IBM survey, of those who see sustainability as a very important value, over 70 percent would be willing to pay extra for brands that share this value.

This is the time to start identifying new opportunities in value-based shopping.

Here are three tips to get your ideas flowing.

1. Make it easy to shop purposefully.

In Sweden, a growing number of consumers say that it is important to them that industries have big focus in sustainability, a study by the Swedish Trade Federation reveals. This covers both environmental and economical sustainability from sustainable collections to products' safety and from environmental responsibility to equality and good working conditions. The food industry is considered the most important with almost 90 percent of consumers considering this quite or extremely important, but overall the percentages are growing in all the industries from IT to cosmetics and stationery.

However, Swedish consumers say that it is often difficult to know which products are environmentally friendly, or how to make more sustainable choices regarding for example the delivery of their orders.

On the business' side, one third says making it easier for customers to make sustainable choices is a priority for them.

The question is, then, how to get these desires to meet?

One solution could be found in digitization.

2. Invest in digital services.

E-commerce is growing with no decline in sight. This has been the trend especially in Sweden, where consumers' habits are some of most digitized in the world. Indeed, 88 percent of Swedes say they have done purchases online over the past year, and the numbers are high in all age groups. Given the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in online shopping, it is safe to say this habit is here to stay.

Still, no matter if purchasing happens online or in-store, people want their shopping experiences to be quick and convenient. Use technology to provide these frictionless experiences. Be omnipresent to respond to consumers desires to shop anywhere, anytime and any way.

Lastly, provide transparency with technology to earn customer loyalty. Offer details of your production methods and material traceability. People want to know what they are purchasing, and providing detailed information increases your brand's trustworthiness – further influencing the customer's brand loyalty.

To succeed in this, you need to be honest. Today's consumer expects you to continue on the same path throughout your actions, which brings us to the third tip.

3. Be consistent: demonstrate your values on every stage of your business.

Make your values the core of your brand DNA.

If sustainability is one of your main values, think about relevant ways for your brand in particular to operate in circular economy. Ask yourself: What is the origin of our materials? Can they be easily recycled? Are our products designed to last? Is the production environment safe and fair? What is the state of sustainability in delivery and packaging?

These all are questions your customers are likely to be asking, and therefore you should be prepared to answer them – transparently. As said, today's consumers are savvier than ever, and they will expect businesses to execute their values every step of the way.

This even extends to the in-store transaction. Contactless payments and digital receipts, are yet another way to ensure that you are considering environmental impact at all stages of your business

Make your customers feel like they are doing good by choosing you. Because when they do, they are more likely to recommend you to others – and that's what makes your business grow.

Learn more about sustainable business and the rise of value-based shopping our new e-book:

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